What Salary Range Do You Want To Be In?

Salary ranges vary based on the job and the position and go as low as the minimum wage per hour and as high as—well, as high as the richest person in the world, give or take a few technicalities. While everyone probably wants to make as much money as possible for their work, realistically most will be making a salary in the mid to high tens of thousands of dollars and have to work their way up into a higher pay grade based upon their abilities and time in a particular position.

So, the salary range you want to be in depends on where you are working, what you are doing and what you believe you need to cover your expenses and live comfortably. Everyone has different wants and needs as well, so this will vary greatly from person to person, of course.

The first thing that should be done, however, for someone who is looking for a job or has just landed a new job, is to define what exactly you want in a salary, what needs to be covered in your life or what you want your salary to be in the next few years. For example, someone who has a couple kids and a mortgage to pay on a house is going to need a much higher starting salary range than someone who is just a few years out of college, single and doesn’t have many responsibilities to take care of. Employers also pay attention to these details when they are hiring people or making them offers. They will see on a resume or in an interview who you are and what your needs will be through the salary of your job. This is something that most employers take into account before they hire someone. So if you’re single and don’t have a lot of responsibilities that take large chunks out of your paycheck, it may not make the most sense to fight for a higher salary range when starting a job as someone who has kids and a house to pay for, among other costs in their lives. But if you plan to take this road in your life, knowing how much that costs in the future should be a goal that you set for yourself in your job, so that you can work towards that salary range a few years down the road.

Salary range is also dependent upon experience and success in a particular field. If you have been successful and had a lot of experience in a particular field and have been paid within a specific salary range for many years during that time, you should probably never work for less than what you were making before, unless it’s in a consulting or part-time role. The rule of thumb usually is that if you have worked for a certain salary in a particular field, then your next salary in that field at the same or higher level in the business should be the same or higher. Then again, rules are sometimes broken and if you really like a job or work environment and see it being successful in the future, it may be worth it to work for a lower salary with hopes of things improving.

Another good thing to do when trying to figure out your salary range, is talk to other people at the business or people who work in that field and find out how much people make at different levels. If you don’t want to have this conversation, as talking about money can often be uncomfortable, then a search online can probably get the job done. This will give you a frame of reference and a real range of salary that is, as the term goes, standard industry practice for that job. This way, you can know what you should be paid when you accept a new position in that industry and have an idea of what salary range you should be aiming for. If the range of salary isn’t enough at the job level you are applying for, you may want to apply for jobs in a different industry entirely. Researching the ability for upward mobility within a certain amount of time will also be helpful, as it may convince you to take a job at a salary that is lower then ideal, as your salary range goal is just a few years of work and a couple promotions away.

At the end of the day, the more information you have about salary ranges of any job out there, the better, as it will give you more freedom to make an informed decision about where you should work.